Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction (Blocked tear duct)

Occasionally infants are born with a clogged tear duct on one or both sides. Normally, the tears drain from an opening in the inner corner of the eyelids (the punctum) into the nose.

When the tear duct is blocked the child can have symptoms of tearing, discharge or both. At times the blockage will resolve on its own. This typically occurs by the time the child is 1 year old.

If the blockage has not resolved on its own a procedure called “probing and irrigation” can be done to open the tear duct. There is no incision made during this procedure. A blunt probe is placed from the punctum in the eyelid down the nasolacrimal system to create an opening.

Additionally your doctor may chose to dilate the tear duct with a balloon catheter (which is removed at the time of the procedure) or place a tube in the tear duct. Depending on the age of your child your doctor may offer you the option of having the probing procedure performed in the office.

  • http://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/72
  • http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/blocked-tear-duct.cfm